Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tempering Religious Zeal

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As new converts joined the early Church, not all let go of their previous religious practices, or would introduce new maneuvers. What was one practice, among many, that Joseph Smith had to put a stop to?

A)     The spontaneous yelling out of “Amen” and “Hosanna” during talks

B)     The rolling on the chapel floor

C)     The holding of hands during prayers

D)     The slithering on the floor like serpents

Yesterday’s answer:

(A)     Do nothing

Apostate, John Corrill, wrote the following in 1839:

   The high priests, elders and priests, have from the commencement of the Church, labored indefatigably to proclaim the gospel and gain disciples, and they have generally been successful, though strongly opposed. On the sixth day of April, 1830, there were but six members in the Church, but now their members are differently estimated from ten to forty thousand, though, in my opinion, there are from twelve to twenty thousand. Much exertion has been used to confute and put down their doctrine and belief, but as foolish as it is, their elders have generally been able to compete with and baffle their opponents. Several publications have appeared against them, as well as newspaper prints, but the misfortune generally has been, that they contained so much misrepresentation, that it has destroyed the confidence of the public in the truth they did contain. Men of influence in the Church have, at different times, turned against it, become its violent enemies, and tried to destroy it, but generally without success. If Smith, Rigden [Rigdon] and others, of the leaders, had managed wisely and prudently, in all things, and manifested truly a Christian spirit, it would have been very difficult to put them down. But their imprudence and miscalculations, and manifest desire for power and property, have opened the eyes of many, and did more to destroy them than could possibly have been done otherwise. My opinion is, that if the Church had been let alone by the citizens, they would have divided and subdivided so as to have completely destroyed themselves and their power, as a people, in a short time.

John Corrill, A Brief History of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints (Commonly Called Mormons, Including an Account of their Doctrine and Discipline, with the Reasons of the Author for Leaving the Church) (St. Louis, n.p., 1839).

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